The Supreme Court of Canada recently released a landmark decision in which a broad worldwide injunction was upheld restraining Google from including certain websites in its search results
B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc.
Holding: A Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) ruling refusing registration on likelihood of confusion grounds can have preclusive effect on a district court trademark infringement case when the elements of issue preclusion are met.
By Ann Ford and Ashley Green
The United States Supreme Court ruled today that a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) ruling on likelihood of confusion can preclude later litigation on the same issue in federal courts. This highly anticipated and long-awaited decision, penned by Justice Alito, ends nearly two decades of litigation on whether the TTAB’s refusal to register an applied-for mark on the basis that it is likely to be confused with a prior registered mark is enough to preclude a federal court from coming to a different conclusion in the infringement context. The court said it is, so long as the ordinary elements of issue preclusion are met.
NAUTILUS, INC. V. BIOSIG INSTRUMENTS, INC.
Patent: Decided: June 3, 2014
Holding: In a unanimous (9-0) opinion authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Court held that the Federal Circuit’s indefiniteness standard bred “lower court confusion” because it “lack[ed] the precision § 112, ¶2” demands.
Reposted from Intellectual Property and Technology Alert
Shortly after its highly publicized loss before the US Supreme Court, which appeared to doom its over-the-air television Internet streaming business, New York-based Aereo shifted to a new legal strategy which it hopes will save its business from extinction.
Aereo has asserted in federal district court that it is entitled to a compulsory license to carry over-the-air broadcasts under § 111 of the Copyright Act. Such a license, which is available to cable systems, could be a complete defense to copyright infringement claims by broadcasters. Aereo bases its claim on the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Aereo service is “highly similar” to that of a cable system.
By Jeremy Elman and Andrew Stein
The United States Supreme Court issued two related opinions earlier today regarding the appropriate standard for awarding attorneys’ fees in patent litigation, Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness, Inc., and Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Health Management System, Inc. At issue in Octane was whether the “exceptional case” standard for awarding attorneys’ fees in patent litigation under 35 U.S.C. § 285 was too high, and at issue in Highmark was whether a District Court’s award under § 285 should be subject to deference or reviewed de novo. Justice Sonia Sotomayor delivered the opinion of the Court in both cases, which was unanimous except for Justice Antonin Scalia disagreeing with three footnotes in Octane.
While the effect of these decisions on reducing patent troll litigation remains to be seen, they could have an immediate impact on the various legislative patent litigation reform proposals being considered in Congress.
The Court’s opinions today lower the standard for awarding attorneys’ fees and reviewing such decisions, overruling the Federal Circuit’s standard from Brooks Furniture Mfg., Inc. v. Dutailier Int’l, Inc., 393 F. 3d 1378 (2005).
In a 6-2 decision today in Golan, et al. v. Holder, et al., the U.S. Supreme Court upheld U.S. Copyright protection for foreign works which had fallen into the public domain prior to the U.S. joining the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works in 1989. See Slip Opinion. Under the Berne Convention, signatories agree to treat authors from fellow signatory countries as they would treat their own.
Guest blog post by Matthew Slevin. Matthew is a Summer Associate in the San Francisco office of DLA Piper LLP. He is a J.D. Candidate at the University of California Hastings College of the Law.
Guest blog post by Carissa L. Bouwer. Carissa is a summer associate in the Sacramento office of DLA Piper. She attends University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and will obtain a J.D. in 2012.